dense as blood: rfm on maalem mahmoud gania, baccam/chayer and broken shoulder, ij, grey guides and steven ball

October 18, 2017 at 7:29 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Maalem Mahmoud Gania – Colours of the Night (Hive Mind)

Baccam/Chayer and Broken Shoulder – Les Angoisses Nocturnes/Hiruma no Tachikurami (Kirigirisu Recordings)

IJ – In the Vicinity of the Extraordinary (Kirigirisu Recordings)

Grey Guides – We Are Not Your New Techno Messiah (No Label)

Steven Ball – Subsongs (Linear Obsessional Recordings)

 colours of the night

Maalem Mahmoud Gania – Colours of the Night (Hive Mind) double vinyl LP

Here’s a thing.  While the N-AU may be set in staunch opposition to some elements of popular musical culture some slices of the pie enjoy a quiet and respectful gravity.

So while the baldheads and grey beards carefully stack their noise tapes they also gently tend record collections that bulge with what was rather antiseptically packaged as World Music back in the 1980s.

But of course things have moved on since Real World or Sterns’ opened the ears of the £50 man.  Smaller, more intimate labels; Excavated Shellac, Awesome Tapes from Africa, Sublime Frequencies and Power Moves recent Excavation series have been setting heads nodding for a decade.

But be sure to add Hive Mind to your ‘must check’ list.  This new label has released a handsome album of mystical Gnawa and is a real labour of love. Brighton resident Marc Teare spent years researching and travelling in Morocco ultimately working with Mahmoud Gania’s family making sure their maiden release was done just right.   Down to the cleverly understated artwork Hive Mind has the feel of a family affair; putting pure love and deep knowledge into the weighty album you hold in your hands.

The eight generous tracks (all are between seven and ten minutes long) feature Mahmoud Gania’s   rubbery Gimbri exploring a tone that’s warmly plucked and deliciously toasted.  Small motifs are played through like scientific equations with a crisp balance between the deeply funky repetition and free-flowing fingering.   There’s a chaotic tumbling to this playing.  The earthy notes churn like a plough cutting deep into the field and turning over fertile soil. Each run reveals a perfectly formed micro-world shot through with woody detail in rich orange and brown.

An insistent, gritty percussion is skittering underneath. Like a wave of sweltering motion this tinny crackle shimmers and shudders like sunlight on a lake or the glaze on a raku pot – each tiny thread spitting into another hundred veins of rhythm.

The call-and-response vocalising lifts an already head-spinning trip into the rusty red sky on a plume of resinous smoke.  Sung in a lip-smacking mixture of Peul, Bambara, Hausa and Arabic there’s a dangerous slurring on ‘Foulani’ where Mahmoud Gania’s  authoritative declarations are repeated back by a slack throated choir, lovingly slurping over each line.

The Gimbri playing on the ten minute ‘Bala Matimba’ is as dense as blood, descending from a mightily complex riff into a smear of bass tones that bounce like magnetic bubbles constantly repelling and attracting.

Keeping things authentic ‘Sidi Sma Ya Boulandi’ features an additional drone keyboard part and marks the semi-permeable membrane that divides ancient and modern which is of course a typical western construct.

But it’s the sheer velocity of these tunes that keep me coming back again and again.  Like the joy of watching a wagon almost leap the tracks.  To my un-tutored ears this all sounds dangerously, wonderfully brittle and could rattle apart at any second – but of course it doesn’t.

The matter is in a master’s hands so the illusion of imminent collapse is a thrilling, intoxicating thing.  Me?  I’m hanging on by the skin of my teeth and loving every single second.

Apparently available copies are almost down to single figures so be sure to check this out now at Hive Mind!

 broken shoulder

Baccam/Chayer and Broken Shoulder – Les Angoisses Nocturnes/Hiruma no Tachikurami (Kirigirisu Recordings) CD and digital album

This split between Montreal’s Baccam/Chayer and Japan-based Broken Shoulder is uncommonly weighty and carefully binary.

Our Canadians syringe sweltering electronic pops and gristly-noise-rattle through my ears.  It’s like some sort of sieve has been taken to a fever dream and all that falls out are ragged scraps: fuzzy disconnected images and a neck-clawing panic.

The machine-made frightened squeals add that ghost-in-the-machine quality that I love in this kind of racket; the closing minutes of track one crack like parched lips with salty, scarlet blood staining the teeth.

Track two is a lo-slo mung-out.  Chirping figs clatter unholy toothy-pegs on one level while tracked beneath an over-stretched boil of rubber strings are bubbling merrily in a trail-battered billy can.   Huge coughs of noise splutter like the last thick green hockle of Iron Man before he starts Sweet Leafing.

Is that some sort of calliope buckling under atmospheric pressure?  Who takes a steam-organ into a bathysphere?  Baccam/Chayer have gone totally Jacques Cousteau on this one – silvery bubbles ripple though the deep as a steel piano is found on the soft sea bed.

For the wonderfully-named Broken Shoulder it’s all about technique.   He starts by spilling glue on an old keyboard and then dousing it in cold tea.  The resulting death spasms are recorded on an unreliable mini-disc swiped with funky electrons.  You go to such lengths and something remarkable is bound to happen like on this ‘Hot Wind’

‘Keep on Believing’ takes the jam to the aviary matching each colourful cheep and trill with a pulsating ur-groove.  Two notes of hope, two notes of wonder, two notes that yaw across a scaffold of just goddamn loveliness.  I can’t listen to this without a smile skimming across my ugly mug and good, wholesome thoughts drive out the bad ju-ju in my noggin.  Musical chicken soup!

More sweet and gentle air wafts through ‘Make Sure all the Doors and Windows are Open’ another wonderful tone-painting as soft as duck down in blues and pinks.   The sister-track ‘Piss Boat’ does an Eno/Fripp and seems to reverse the original sucking us back in time.  Marvellous yeah!

 IJ

IJ – In the Vicinity of the Extraordinary (Kirigirisu Recordings) CD and digital album

Inge van den Kroonenberg & Jürgen De Blonde are a loved-up couple of mountain goats and therefore have a soft pad within their polished hooves.  This malleable surface provides extra grip on the sharp rocks and 5cm ledges on which they thrive.  On ‘Calling the Heard’ IJ develops their own evolutionary extension (a reversible air-sac, a throat pocket?) to plunge deeply into a world of hollow-horn drone. Impressive eh?

But extra mind-balloons are thoroughly inflated on the peerless ‘Expanding Rainbow’ a study of super-sparse mbira clicks and organ-loops.  Like a growing anxiousness each flutter of reverb sets off a small chain reaction of impish huffs that glisten like vapour trails – always too far to reach out and touch.

The ghost of reverb haunts ‘Frozen Highway’ as frisky as a tumbleweed skitter.  More breathy organ notes are stretched over the event horizon but for me the real jazz is played out in the snatches of faint conversation/street noise that blisters like paint under a blowtorch, lifting medallions of oily pigment in a beautiful rash.

grey guides 2 

Grey Guides – We Are Not Your New Techno Messiah (No Label) CD-R and digital album

Morley (near Leeds) greatest hobos bum a fag from ex-members of This Heat.

Like.  Not literally of course.  But these pieces of swollen tape-noise and crushed sonics could be a backing-tape from Cold Storage or something.

The stressed-out guitars in ‘Lame Duck Alchemist’ throb and thrum like useless string ghosts.  The cascade of puckered notes are sour to taste and wobble gingerly like a tipsy aunt.  A hussing/hishing (that’s the pucker again – this time a pair of red lips) swooshes over lazy chants and crow impressions.  This really is a blunted reality.  Anything you want to tell us lads?

But then ‘Kev’s Temple’ is a firm Dr Phibes palm on the keys with muffled grunts fighting to get heard over the filth.  The cinematic theme continues on ‘Venus-in-Furness’* that makes like a montage scene trying to convey the sense of morbid fascination one has with re-visiting locations of previous heartbreak.  The nervous system is close to collapse but continues to make bad decisions.  A two-note hum struggles to make an entrance around the wire wool messiness.

As ever there is a finger on the FFW button all through this glorious construction so playing speeds are arbitrary (See ‘New Experimental Wheelchair’).  Smears are the new clarity and act as ear-cataracts.  Only the most messed-up and bleached sound can cut through the soft tissues.

But this is by no means a grim affair. No sir!  A doubled-up whine shimmers becoming a fly trapped in a test tube.  Its furious buzzing is muted by the firm rubber bung on ‘Last Feast of Harlequin’ which could also ape Ligeti’s ‘texture music’.  Take that Gramophone!

Yet again the Grey Guides have dug deeper than most to unearth layer upon layer of groovy silt/loam/compost.  It may stink to high heaven but nourishes countless pretenders on its rich, vital nitrates.

*contender for NAU pun of the year

subsongs

Steven Ball – Subsongs (Linear Obsessional Recordings) CD and digital album

This Mr S Ball is a long-time man.  Spending decades in Storm Bugs this is the first solo album that I’m aware of and certainly his first full album for the wonderful Linear Obsessional group.

Classy from the uncluttered front cover art to the spare arrangements for instruments and voice – this is a disc as bracing as an arctic northerly blast.

This collection of real songs is unfussy and focused.  Steven’s voice never raises much above a conversational hum, a sing/speak that’s both comforting and hypnotic.  The very normality of his vocal approach makes this an arresting enough listen – but couple this with the barely-there arrangements and you are on to a winner.

Like the Wu-Tang on their 36 Chambers best Steven practices the secret art of sticking to one distinct, lopsided sample/loop and letting it breathe.  There’s no smothering hiss on this finely recorded disc and spare bass, guitar or piano (but rarely playing at the same time) create a soft scaffold.   ‘Inside’ showcases this approach wonderfully with a handful of descending bass tones capturing a whole suitcase full of moods.

An emphasis on structure and organically developing themes makes the 15 min ‘Of the Yard (after Terry Ball)’ an exercise in deeper listening and repetition.  Sort of like a kitchen sink version of ‘There was an old lady that swallowed a fly’ cribbed from unpublished poetry notebooks (which the notes suggest it was).

Less esoteric matters are discussed on ‘Garage/Band’.  What could be a withering snark at underground poseurs ‘pretending to be bored’ Steven delivers with a kindly wink, and avuncular sigh – we’ve all been there eh?

The missing link between reductionist improv and the intimate breathy song cycles of a Robert Wyatt.

Hive Mind Records

Kirigirisu Recordings

Grey Guides Bandcamp

Linear Obsessional

-ooOOoo-

london crawling: paul margree on alex ward, onin, yeah you, stephanie merchak, sebastian camens and miya masaoka, zeena parkins and myra melford

October 12, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Alex Ward Proprioception (Weekertoft)

Onin –Errery (Verz Imprint)

Yeah You – Krutch (Slip)

Stephanie Merchak – Collapsing Structures (Silent Method)

Sebastian Camens – Tan Object (Conditional)

Miya Masaoka, Zeena Parkins and Myra Melford – MZM (Infrequent Seams)

Given that my initial pitch to RFM was to become the site’s London correspondent, few of the bits and bobs I’ve reviewed thus have any link to the capital. These latest grunts of prose aim to address this imbalance, featuring some London-based artists and labels – as well as others from further afield. Read on, fellow voyagers, and enjoy.

AlexWard

Alex Ward – Proprioception (Weekertoft) CD and digital album

Alex Ward is a busy chap. In the past couple of years alone, he’s contributed to Charles Hayward’s This Is Not This Heat revival, reconciled the formal rigour of composition and the spontaneity of improvisation with group releases such as ‘Glass Shelves and Floor’, and given vent to ferocious jazz-rock-punk utterances in Forebrace. He’s also found time to pop up here, there and everywhere as a roving freelance improvisor.

More recently Ward has been rummaging around at both the micro and macro ends of his practice. With Item 10, he dives into the challenges of working with a large ensemble, again trying to square the circle of improvisational flexibility within a composed framework. But in‘Proprioception’, he focuses exclusively on the clarinet, with two acoustic improvisations and a third featuring amplification and feedback as a counterpart to his own dexterous playing.

The unamplified jams are as fluid and delightful as Ward has played.‘Vestibular’ honks and hoots with terrific, hyperactive energy, its maximalist trills tumbling into sharp-edged discordance, the full-on shredding peppered with tongue slaps and pained squeals. Phew. ‘Tiptoes’ is more languid, but grizzled too, with early scraping around the higher register morphing into gravel-pitted breaths and tubercular whoops.

If the third piece, ‘Chasm’, isn’t quite as assured, the sense of a new path being forged more than compensates. There’s plenty of this kind of stuff available for the saxophone – John Butcher still dominates the field, and Joe Wright (see below) is also worth your time – but switching in the clarinet here yields rewards. Ward uses the horn to taunt his amplification, almost, blowing just enough to trigger explosive, fuzzy yowls. Hollow breaths result in gas clouds of white noise. High-pitched squeaks draw out needling screams. At times, grit-laden globules seem to spew out into the air, claggy lumps of waterlogged ash hosed from a chimney by a crew of Victorian urchins, huffing and puffing as they clamber through the soggy darkness.
Onin

Onin – Errery (Verz Imprint) CD and digital album

 If Alex Ward’s experiments with amplification are provocative, reveling in the chaotic sounds they birth to, saxophonist Joe Wright takes a chillier, more considered approach. Onin, his duo with guitarist James Malone, is architectural in its scope, sketching out dry, empty structures pockmarked with occasional fine detailing that is both enigmatic and essential. Sounds don’t so float free from their moorings as are deployed with utmost precision to an unseen plan, working towards an unknowable, unreachable goal.

The five tracks on ‘Errery’ match dissonant feedback jags and atonal blowing from Wright’s horn with Malone’s reductionist approaches and extended techniques that turn his guitar into a sonic totem, his hollow knocking, ringing plucks and rodent squeaks emerging like background chatter from the aether.The grubby tundra of ‘Dark Star’ is a great opening salvo, Malone’s fibrous clangs echoing over the masses of Wright’s sub-zero sonics with unexpectedly emotional heft. And the album’s title track is full to the brim of things that go bump in the night, its poltergeist racket juxtaposed with almost comic stringy whoops and whistles for a big back of unheimlich fun.

But the highlight has got to be machine shop wallop of ‘Shrike’s Dance’, in which layers of oily syncopation and air-tube rattle jazz about in acousmatic fury. The title may well be a reference to ‘Pharaoh’s Dance’, the opening cut on Miles Davis’ ‘Bitches Brew’, and you can just about sniff out some that weaved interplay of instrumentation here – although the gassy thumps and drill-whine of an ancient central heating system in the process of being dismantled may be a better image. The physical pulse never goes away and may inspire spot of calisthenics in all but the most sedentary listeners. Work it.

Krutch

Yeah You – Krutch (Slip) vinyl and digital album

 Attention all parents! However you view the messy, complex business of child-rearing, the business of sharing car journeys with those little bundles of joy must, surely, appeal only to the very hardiest. Put a bunch of humans of varying ages inside a metal box for any length of time and friction is almost guaranteed to ensue.

Yet there is a solution, thanks to father and daughter duo Mykl Jaxn and Elvin Brandhi. Instead of arguing about which playlist or radio station commands the vehicular airwaves, Jaxn and Brandi used their car trips as a creative spur,with journeys to the supermarket and further afield becoming opportunities to dream upabrasive bursts of stream of consciousness noise guaranteed to abuse your earlobes with their sheer broken-glass vitriol.

Such formative experiences led inexorably to the birth of Yeah You. And, although the roadtrip jam sessions aren’t so central the duo’s creative process, the acid-bath ferocity of their instantaneous songcraft has lost none of its filthy lustre. ‘Krutch’ is the pair’s sophomore release for the London-based Slip label, after 2016’s astounding and essential ‘Id Vendor’, and the venom remains in full flow. From the pure headache yowzah of ‘Fall Freed’, through to dying seconds of ‘SOIK CHAT video’s’ burnt-circuit blip, this is aural poison of the most toxic kind.

Despite the anarchy, Brandhi’s majestic flow locks perfectly with Jaxn’s soundtrack. Get a load of ‘No More Metaphors, Hold Life Still’, where Brandhi’s distorted chat is all of a piece with Jaxn’s rough synth splatter. Like all good poets – Mark E Smith, YOL – Brandhi knows that the sonic impact of her syllables is as important as their meaning, just as Jaxn feels no need to prioritise her words, her corrosive utterances fighting for space in the titanium shoebox of his soundscapes.

‘Krutch’ is, if anything, even more virulent than its predecessor, whose crunching, trap-inspired beats provided a vestige of structure on which to hang Brandhi’s bottom-of-the-universe misanthrope poetry. “No affirmation needed, no affirmation needed” spits Brandhi on ‘Hair Moats’, her voice pitchshifted with such abandon that individual syllables warp in and out of focus, as scratchy electronic percussion bites like a nest of grumpy ants and thin splurges of atonal synth cast spraycan trackmarks all around. Set phasers to rinse.

Merchak

Stephanie Merchak – Collapsing Structures (Silent Method Records) digital release

All of the pieces on StephanieMerchak’s Collapsing Structures were built from a single glockenspiel melody, reconfigured by the artists into this set of stark, compelling compositions. The way in which Merchak turns self-imposed limitation to her advantage is, frankly, astounding. From relatively humble sonic material, she fashions an array of glossy twinkles, ominous machine murmurs and deep drones, which then act as source material for her assemblages. The mood is sombre, Merchak’s metallic timbres evoking the chilly expanses of the void – although, according to her liner notes, that vast emptiness may lay correspond to inner, rather than outer space, with tracks like ‘Alone In My Head’ summoning the aimless hermetic drift and low-power neuronic glimmer of psychic breakdown as much as they evoke the freezing wonder of interstellar exploration.

If the subject matter is grim, the product of the ruminations is frequently thrilling (indeed, one could hope that focusing on such debilitating mental states provides some therapeutic as well as aesthetic value). ‘Repeated Patterns of Destruction’has a massive, alien heave, its glacial crescendos awe-inspiring and terrifying in turn. ‘Cold and Silent’, meanwhile, is almost anthemic in its wavelike shimmer and battery of clanging resonance.

There are times, for example in the sweeping oscillations of ‘Rupture’ or the layered reverberations of ‘147 Transformations’, where Merchak seems to be pitting herself against computer music heavy-hitters like Roland Kayn. However, unlike Kayn’s more system-based approach, ‘Collapsing Structures’ is very much the product of Merchak’s compositional intelligence, and the intensity and focus of her tracks is a result of her hands-on sound design and clear editorial sense. Still, listening to pieces like ‘Caught In A Loop’, it is difficult to believe that a tabletop full of Eurorack modules isn’t responsible for the multifaceted pulse and throb. That such sub-zero gorgeousness had its roots in an instrument used to teach young children basic nursery rhymes in primary schools across the land is testament to its composers’ talent. Ice cold.

Tan Object

Sebastian Camens – Tan Object (Conditional) cassette and digital album

Imagine a giant, multicoloured rubber band. Imagine two hands stretching and twisting it. But it never breaks – just gets longer and longer, gnarled into an ever-more impossible geometry. Imagine this as sound, and you’ve got a fair approximation of the nutty squelchfest that is Sebastian Camens’ ‘Tan Object’. Created using a minimal modular synth setup, Camens lays down ten slices of frenetic Dayglo electronica, each one a rabbit punch to the cortex that’ll have you seeing stars as your jacking body crumples to the floor.

Despite there being no drums in these chewy nuggets, ‘Tan Object’ is a stone-cold banger. Each track sees Camens setting up his parameters and letting them fly, the hiccupping, loop-like structures gurning into new shapes as they coil around onto themselves in the perfect combination of repetition and evolution. The upward jerk of ‘Tan Object 2’ has the shroomy hustle of Lee Morgan’s ‘Sidewinder’ after a bout of M25 motorway madness, but it’s the album’s mid-section that hits hardest.  Parts 4 and 5 marshal a motherboard full of Space Invader bleeps and bursts in a hectic, gluey morass. By ‘Tan Object 6’, fuzzy drops of white-hot sound are raining down like planet-wide invasion, ‘War of Worlds’ rescripted by Tomohiro Nishikado.

‘Tan Object’ is the second outing for Camens on London’s Conditional label, after his split release with founder Calum Gunn for the label’s debut, ‘Slant Deviations’. Since then, Conditional has delved deep into the more eccentric ends of experimental electronic music, with rkss’s ‘Brostep In The Style Of Florian Hecker’ – released as a video game and lanyard, format fans – and Ewa Justka’s searing ‘Efhksjerfbeskj’ (created entirely with homemade instruments and effects). But the Conditional release with whom ‘Tan Objects’ shares most of its DNA is Phil Julian’s ‘Clastics’. Like Camens, Julian uses his kit to set up repeating patterns that decompose gradually into bit-scrunched slurry, leaving a bunch of lovely wrecks behind. Take a look. That charred destruction is darned beautiful.

MZM

Miya Masaoka, Zeena Parkins and Myra Melford: MZM (Infrequent Seams) CD and digital album

Artistic freedom can be constricting as well as a liberating. When everything is up for grabs, it takes courage to face down the void. Understandable, then, that many artists don’t, retreating into the niceties of a sonic grammar established back in the day – a problem particularly relevant in contemporary free improvisation.Thankfully, the trio of Miya Masaoka (21 string Koto) Zeena Parkins (electronics, electric harp) and Myra Melford (acoustic and prepared piano)steer a safe passage through these rocky waters. You’d hope they would, of course, given their combined skill levels working in this field. And, although his debut isn’t the first time the trio has worked together, ‘MZM’ retains the sparkiness of an initial meeting of minds, scoring an impressive hit rate despite being rooted in classic improv traditions.

That said, ‘MZM’ takes a little while to get going. The aptly titled ‘Red Spider’ and ‘Bug’, for all their energized swarm, wouldn’t look out of place in a 1980’s Emanem release. But as the radiant hues of ‘Saturn’ beam out, things look to be heading in the right direction. Balletic harp and koto figures execute a courtly dance to subdued piano chords. Hermetic feedback wallpapers the space in glowing hostility, allowing the brittle strings and moody keys to skedaddle nervously across smooth, curvilinear surfaces.

Generally, the cuts named after astronomical features fare better than their entomological counterparts, the chilly spaces offering more opportunities to winkle out refreshing twists and turns. The woody plunks of ‘Spiral’ display an enigmatic loveliness, the crabwalk improved by a piano line nodding just far enough towards Ligeti’s ‘Musica Ricercata II’ to summon some Kubrikian spookiness. Its final third is arrestingly lovely as it morphs into widescreen, creeping dread, with a growling bass drone that casts circling koto and harp motifs into uncompromising relief.

Weekertoft

Verz Imprint

Slip

Silent Method Records

Conditional

Infrequent Seams

-ooOOoo-

sunny murray’s right foot: rfm on brb>voicecoil, artwhore, no audience underground tapes, teatowels

October 7, 2017 at 8:12 am | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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brb>voicecoil – Reconfigure Moments (Muza Muza)

brb>voicecoil – Containment (Muza Muza)

Artwhore – Pasty Posture (Muza Muza)

Various Artists – No Audience Underground Tapes

Teatowels- We are the Deadness (Beartown Records & Tapes)

 reconfigure moments

brb>voicecoil – Reconfigure Moments (Muza Muza) Cassette and digital album

“Heavy manipulation of source material and resetting of audio time frames” says the ever informative Muza Muza website.

But even that clear warning couldn’t prepare me for the massiveness of these sonic-boulders or the grittiness of the resulting rumbling on Reconfigure Moments.

Totally elemental with that whole earth, fire, water and air gang being represented at the top of their game.  A full bandwidth vista is peeling open my reluctant eyes and saying:

FEEL YOUR BONES CRUSHED,

YOUR SKIN CRACKLES WITH PHOSPHOR,

YOU ARE BRIGHT WITH FIRE…

…until I feel myself lurching for the ‘stop’ button on the booming stereo (and in an instant thinking – the old thing has never sounded quite so vicious as this before).

Phew!

brb’s Kev Wilkinson has collected years worth of field recordings from across the UK and subjected them to the most punishing treatment turning minute taps into ocean-going groans and gossamer strokes into the poisoned lash of a stingray’s tail.   This really is ‘sound as weapon’ territory but at no moment does it ever succumb to ‘noise’ cliché.  Each sound-mugging is clear as a shiv in the moonlight and twice as sharp.  The crackles, rattles and pops are HUGE but placed with delicacy and a dark poetic logic.

The canvas is vast and as much attention is paid to the silences, the absences, as the abrasive implosions and gigantic reversed echoes like someone turned a borehole inside out.

Phew!!

FOOTNOTE: I took this down to Richer Sounds to test out a new tape deck and the smarty pants clerk looked fucking horrified when I cranked this up.  The assembled glut of customers looked round, gulped and left as one.  What more recommendation do you need comrades?

containment

brb>voicecoil – Containment (Muza Muza) Cassette and digital album

A sister piece to the fearsome ‘Reconfigure Moments’, ‘Containment’ is made up of nine unprocessed field recordings with ears precisely trained on the resonant interior of huge concrete and steel structures (I’m guessing).

This being brb>voicecoil the locations are selected with great insider knowledge of the very mechanics of these materials and years of scientific precision.

What we hear are dislocated ‘clunks’ and ‘squeals’.  Sheered of their original context the howling winds whip up these thick steel cables to really sing an unnatural overture.  There is a cold ‘thwack’ of metal against cement that reverberates in these man-made canyons, decaying gradually into another whooping collapse.

These recordings being at the mercy of the weather/ambience make strange things happen to the timings.  A dry ‘crack’ or gravely ‘crunch’ pop at the most eccentric moments.  Like the earth became Sonny Murray’s right foot, this tape swings with an internal metronome that us mere mortals can barely comprehend.  Like the freest of all jazz soaring buttresses honk deeper than Ayler and become more ‘out’ than Sun Ra.

Use this tape as an essential stepping stone readers – plug into the industrial Gaia-beat outside your door that’s as syncopated as chrome Dixieland.

artwhore

Artwhore – Pasty Posture (Muza Muza) Cassette and digital album

There was a time when you couldn’t pass a lamp post in Newcastle that wasn’t tagged with an Artwhore sticker.  They seemed to be everywhere at once: playing a thousand shows and dumping flyers to soak up spilled beer in the Barley Mow, Egypt Cottage and Broken Doll.

But while this mysterious crew had their street-art and promotion in the bag unfortunately I never caught them live.  Thankfully Muza Muza have released these lost 1996-97 recordings on a kicking and screaming public.

The issue with vintage recordings is pretty obvious – does it stand up today, right here, right now?  I’m delighted to say a firm yes to these curious electronic hummers.

The darkness is turned on for the majority of these pieces – dull thumps underscore sleet-coloured drone but an optimistic twinkle, a very Geordie characteristic if I may suggest, peppers these recordings.  What I think is ‘Vallis’ is a truly gorgeous rainbow and unicorns number, all pink sunsets and warm hugs.  By contrast ‘Hooverdub’ and ‘Electricity’ spit nails and rubber bullets.

The influence of rave culture is another signifier of the time.  It hit the toon hard and it wasn’t unusually to find dreads and skins swap their para-boots for flip flops on a Saturday night.  This strangely sounds fresh as daisies on ‘Shamm’ and ‘Horseloverfat’.

For younger readers…just think of it as the original vapour wave or something yeah?

louie and luciano

Various Artists – Live Series (No Audience Underground Tapes) Cassette with occasional inserts and detritus

And so it came to pass.

As I mentioned before on RFM  the much-loved NAU stalwarts Fucking Amateurs called it a day with their 100th release (give or take a few) earlier this year.  I’d hinted that the baton had been passed and I’m delighted to say their grubby, semi-legal but thoroughly heartfelt, true and D.I.Y corpse is being reanimated by David Howcroft (ex-Helter Skelter Records) and the impeccably named No Audience Underground Tapes.

A straight-outta-Gateshead thing NAU tapes are attending those shows that you can’t get to, jamming performances direct to tape and bundling them up in outrageous packaging.  Then dear reader they are being offered to the global underground FOR FREE!

Yup.  Keeping this real is important to Dave so he is just asking for postage right now.  But I know you are a generous bunch so an extra quid for tapes and stickers might be an idea eh?

So…what are NAU Tapes offering?  It’s an eccentric and ever-growing catalogue.

  • NAUT 01# brb>voicecoil / Vampyres / Spoils and Relics / Ali Robertson & Joyce Whitfield. Live at Soundroom Gateshead 23/07/17

  • NAUT 02# SMUT. Live at Soundroom Gateshead 13/05/17

  • NAUT 03# Watts / Fells / Church Burner. Live at Soundroom Gateshead 30/06/17

  • NAUT 04 # (Limited Edition Band Members Only) Church Burner.  30/06/17

  • NAUT 05# Trevor Wren / Proboscis / Eigengrau. Live at the Little Buildings, Byker 15/07/17 (Ed – Dave notes – quality of recordings compromised by tape recorder malfunctions)

  • NAUT 06# Sippy Cup / Ant Macari & Posset / Acrid Lactations. Live at The Old Police House 30/07/17

  • NAUT 07# Damo Suzuki’s Network. Live at Cluny2 04/08/17

  • NAUT 08# Louie Rice & Luciano Maggiore / Pinnel / Rust Ruus. Live at Workplace Gallery, Gateshead. 12/08/17

 

OK…that’s the infomercial.  What do the damn tapes sound like?

NAUT 01. Captures the dark shudder of brb>voicecoil and Vampyres in grim fidelity.  The boiling leaves a grey scum shot through with diamond streaks.  On the other side of the equation Ali Robertson & Joyce Whitfield gabber like geese in an old-timey hairdressers (the ones with huge machines you put your delicate head in).  Spoils and Relics fashioned their gruff-pumps through wires to hiss like an old factory of dreams. They are the equals sign, the fulcrum that balances a perfect evening.

life hacks

NAUT 06. Acrid Lactations swirl a hand round the gene pool and pick out several chromosome-jamz. Both skitter-dry and tape deep –the  first recording of the tiny AL with powerful lung!  Dullard Posset and real-live artist Ant Macari continue their world domination thru corporate hypnosis and evil vibes (spoken word).  The wonderful Sippy Cup (Drenching/Armitage) are as jazz as they come; each hand grabs an implement and drains it of sound-juice with expert timing.  Total clutter core!

NAUT 08. Rust Ruus presents his piece for solo snare drum, tapes and steel butter dish – KLAKA, KLACKA, KLACKA energy!  Pinnel loops soft voice and mouth pops on her Black & Decker Workmate. The crowd went wild after their vacation in these gentle hisses and slips.  The most Eno!  Rice & Maggiore are dressed in black and vibe out the audience with their regal focus and concentration.  Performance for modular synth, puckered lips, red hands and two sets of big stamping boots.  An outstanding show of control and timing.  Don’t believe me?  Order the damn tape yeah!

There’s no website comrades so please send questions, requests, stamps and good karma to : howcroft.d58@gmail.com

 teatowels

Teatowels- We are the Deadness (Beartown Records & Tapes) Cassette

As the gardener must prune their prize roses with regular surgical snips the musician must occasionally take a hatchet to their craft.  Slicing out overused approaches, chopping back any excesses and burning the lazy ideas to truly grow.

The Teatowels have cut and cut and cut until all is left is one guitar/one drum/one voice. Even the idea of a song is sliced and diced in a semi-improvised blur. Sure, some pieces on this extraordinary tape are recognisable ‘songs’ (track 6) but others are fumbles, sketches and essences that make this like a long-lost practice tape found in the bottom of a shoebox.

The rehearsal room ambience is thick with amp fug and ideas blooming in the moment. It’s a secret shared in hot breathy gasps.  The shamanic use of repetition and lowest of all known ‘fi’s’ becomes a grey carnation shuddering in an autumn storm.

If you’re looking for less botanical references the mumbled vocal, spindly guitar and boxy drums take me back to the woollen-scratchy and indistinct world when the Dead C and The Fall and Sonic Youth had a lot more in common and seemed to answer a three-way conversation back and forth across the international freak-rock underground.

And like all three examples above the process of recording became part of the signature sound: cheap studios, busted amps and exhausting schedules gave this music a patina of sleep-deprived itchiness, a splitter van’s claustrophobia.

Teatowels have built this up into an impressive whirl where things abruptly jump-cut between half-remembered jams, free-rock (track 2), drum-led moaning (track 3 ) and more realised explorations.  A deft finger on the pause button (track 7) makes some of the more hectic jamz blur with distinctive tape smear and is the perfect hot sauce on this tasty wiener.

The closer (track 8) is a lengthy nine minutes and boils all these approaches into a thin gruel applied in erratic brush strokes over the bones of the type of speaking –song-dramatic-build that Slint favour.

But instead of the Louisville drama we get an unrelenting British chug – all tension and no release; drizzle sizzling forever on the vinyl roof of a Ford Cortina.

brb>voicecoil,  Teatowels are playing TUSK festival 13th – 15th October. 

 

Muza Muza Bandcamp

Beartown Records

–ooOOoo-

neat as hand stitched brogues: rfm on duncan harrison, downer canada, permanent six flags, secluded bronte, vampyres and death in scarsdale

September 28, 2017 at 6:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Duncan Harrison – Preamble to Nihil (No Label)

Downer Canada – Watson Island English (Reading Group)

Permanent Six Flags – Harping on Units since Forever (Reading Group)

Secluded Bronte – Ten Point Plan to Destroy Astrology (Singing Knives)

Vampyres – Century Scars (Invisible City Records)

Death in Scarsdale – Ruminations (Invisible City Records)

 Duncan Harrison

Duncan Harrison – Preamble to Nihil (No Label) Limited cassette and digital album

Motherfucking effortless tape-jaxx from Sensei Harrison.

And it’s a right dizzying listen with over a dozen thoughts and techniques presented with a magician’s sleight of hand.

“Look mate…nothing up me sleeve and Hey Presto! “  Every few minutes a new sound wriggles into your earhole.   And a whole new set of sonic vistas and opportunities opens with each canny reveal.

I’m such a fan of this ‘in parts’ approach.  It’s like staring into a fly’s eye; multifaceted and crazily reflective.  The movements come thick and fast collapsing into each other like drunken Henry Moore nudes.   It is god damn ripe my dearest reader.

To give you a sense of the movement and pace here’s a blow-by-blow account of what I’m hearing.

(A1) …pretty-tape-loop-guitar-glitch-pretty-tape-loop-guitar-glitch…

(A2) Clipped vocal barnacles buffer spoken word

(A3) Pastoral relax.  My Auntie’s glass bell collection gathers dust.

(A4) DOMESTIC FLATMATE DRAMA over ‘savage beeping’

(A5) Street scene: part Hovis whimsy – part eye-spy on French teens and a casual ‘Alright’

(A6) Close miked plastic wrenching slides into…

(A7) …dramatic sheet metal scrape that gets occasionally rubbery.

Can I call this an act of Audio Verité?  Jeppers!  I think I just did.  I’m revelling in the damn realness of this tape.  There’s a down-to-earth honesty here – from the most casual slurp to the sweet traffic ‘schoosh’ to the single battered pipe honk.   And if that’s too highfalutin for you?  Just dig the ‘essence of compilation’ feel on this cool-spooler where the lack of linking thread becomes a damn linking thread.

(B1) Tempting mouth-pop / spluttering wetly

(B2) Carefully stitched tape hiss and static crackle

(B3) Trout Mask Clarinet

(B4) A pause.  A subtle pig grunt and pre-language glottals (this one worthy of the admission price alone)

(B5) Recorder solo from ‘Fool on the Hill’ rejected for melancholic reasons

(B6) Grand Prix for steel rats / distorto buzz / shortwave / lead fizz

(B7) Pub scene from 1764 (moist fuxx)

If this is a throw down to all tape-hounds it’s a damn effective one.

Full Nelson.   Advantage Harrison!

Any similarity to TQ zine’s review of Dunc’s pretty white slab is purely, honestly incidental.

 downer canada watson island

Downer Canada – Watson Island English (Reading Group) CD and download

More exquisite hiss from Downer Canada on the extremely classy Reading Group label.

This CD really shoves at the limits of what two crappy tapes can do.  Side one erupts like a tin teardrop rattling an electric beard.  The huss and fuss is almost overwhelming with gob iron shanties blowing dry air into a tiny rum hurricane.

Side two starts with a gentle paddling of water.

Only the most superstitious sailor brings his Dictaphone into his kayak but you’re glad he did as the simple spoken word loop decays and wobbles in the berth.

Like Alvin Lucier copped a ride or something the blunt ‘klack’ of the stop button is buried into this recording like a satisfying comma sub-dividing the loops/loops/loops whistling out of the speakers as a horny milkman would.

As gently gritty as sand in sock but one thousand times more welcome.

 six flags

Permanent Six Flags – Harping on Units Since Forever (Reading Group) CD and download

This act of wonderful sound gathering and organisation from Permanent Six Flags takes on board ritualistic field recordings, found sound, Neil Mills-style Number Poems and tape grot in short snippets and long chunks.

It acts as an ear bath for tiny souls.  In fact the hiss (we are near water at this point – dripping with fat dollops) could be carbonated pop, shook up to remain furiously contained in the bottle.

One of the few non non-musical piece features a really well played…err…clavinet, slack key guitar, broken harp or koto?  You get the gist…it’s difficult to tell what’s going on but eccentric is the style and eccentric is what becomes king right here.

Emily Martin and Derek Baron’s (SPF) best works are the psychedelic domestic recordings; spare banter with each other (or someone else) draped over an instant piano composition all echoing off the brass pots and Italian tiled floor.

The final ensemble piece for single vowels and Flemish speakers is, as you’d imagine, a riveting performance that draws all sense from the ’1’ and promises to send it to bed with no supper.

Like the endless static of space.  PSF stretch out fingers of gravity everywhere they touch.

 Secluded-Bronte-J-Bohman-R-Thomas

Secluded Bronte – Ten Point Plan to Destroy Astrology (Singing Knives) Cassette

England’s most polite whirrers and skimmers ingest a Foley artist and barf out chunks fancy as paper doilies.

Listeners!  You are in for a rare treat.  This is a full-spectrum shuffle of delicate micro-skronk and individual ear-grunts presented in a lip-smacking smorgasbord approach.  Snatches of live performance are stitched together with more intimate jams and rehearsals to create a meta-narrative of marvellous BRONTE.

AN OUTSIDER: (whistling like a careless milkman…he wanders into earshot)

THE EXPERIENCE: The gentle ‘clonk’ of various bric-a-brac rustles my lugs. The scour of grey charcoal buffers disembodied voices that cackle right and left.

A PASSING TOT: It’s no-fi, it’s lo-fi.  It’s why-fi!  Revel in the classy scrape and delicious friction punctuated by a haughty silence.  Where else does Milton Babbitt breathe cold fire into a redundant oboe? In a Secluded Bronte! (Arf Arf)

THE EXPERIENCE: all at once they chatter.  The everything-as-incoherent-as-everything-else approach bakes like a nice cake.

AN OUTSIDER: Eh?

A PASSING TOT: What I mean is from lonely eggs, boring old flour and sexy sugar a glorious Victoria Sponge emerges.  Who’d have thought it?  Beauty formed through fancy catering.

AN OUTSIDER: But I can’t make head nor tail of it.  What am I supposed to think?

A PASSING TOT: This is an exercise in reflective submission.  You must turn off the ego but remain alert.  Hook your mind on any passing detail that tickles your fancy.  Follow it through the remaining vash but hold tight.

THE EXPERIENCE: Adam Bohman, Jonathan Bohman and Richard Thomas strike, rub and mutter over the contents of a skip found outside the Royal Albert Hall.  It’s all Kensington Gore mate!  Moments are precious; a bowed wine glass becomes a gentle bell ringing.  The lucky smear of a tape manipulation fades into a brief synth hole to emerge in a fresh mountain stream.

A PASSING TOT: The music of poetry, the poetry of music.  All are born in misty Thornton but transported to modern day Catford.  These players are in most wonderful control of their hot lips and voices.

THE EXPERIENCE: Sherlock Holmes doing a crossword?  Watson’s polished cockney shouts the clues.  Multiple stories snipped from the ‘…and finally’ pile and reconstructed using sticky tape.

A PASSING TOT: See?  No instrumental interlude is ever too long but just right.  A short solo drumming, a nice tape buzz or some detritus shimmer.  These clicks and jitters form a solid structure for the voices to soar.

AN OUTSIDER:  It becomes clear.  I think I see it!  Like Tetris…blocks of sound.  I can almost feel them twist in the air to fit as neat as hand-stitched brogues.

BRONTE!  These bedtime stories are accompanied with a tea cup brimming with laudanum.

p.s. my dumb-ass laptop has issues so that means the image above is not the cover of this funky tape but pic of lovely JB and RT.  If I get shit fixed I’ll change this so you can see the real deal!

vampyres 2

Vampyres – Century Scars (Invisible City Records) Cassette and ‘gasp’ digital album

This ultra heavyweight duo (Lee Culver/Martyn Depletion) invokes the erratic pulse of a faulty jet engine heard through layers of brittle magic shells.

It’s a noisy affair for sure but these four careful hands make sure this is a totally restrained beast – there is no hurtling off willy-nilly into the stratosphere.  Rather, a disciplined and punishing set of parameters are prompted, goaded and prodded into the teetering balance between control and overload.

What I am guessing are analogue electronics provide the dark bubbling adding some lofty vertical to the roiling, earth-scorching, fuzz that’s strictly horizontal on ‘Sacred Lake’.  This is true fist in the air stuff designed for studded leather wrists.

But the lengthy ‘Abruzzo Blood Portraits’ has a melancholic air that’s hard to describe.  A longing ache is coded into the underpinning blast-furnace bluster.  And there’s real sense of loneliness and isolation in the electronic howls.  Gradually these two distinct strands rot into each other to leave a twirling, twisting Azathoth piping foul and unholy horns.  Lost on a moor you better stick to the paths right?

Side two starts with the soaring ‘Breeding Ground’ mimicking a WWII maritime disaster movie hybrid – King Kong versus the Bismarck?  The deep thrum of bi-planes starts the proceedings as they dart nimbly among the rigging.  Soon a powerful fist begins to swat the bee-like swam destroying a half-dozen at a time.  The mid-air explosions are perfectly realised on antique synth.

The final piece is the aptly named ‘Night Creatures’ and a total grim creeper.  Like medieval boiling oil torture becoming music this is complete with red-hot-poker hisses splintering of bone and the chattering of teeth as an innocent recants.

death in scarsdale

Death in Scarsdale – Ruminations (Invisible City Records) Cassette and digital album

Very, very refined tape loop/synthwerk from Dunston’s Death in Scarsdale that nudges the edges of my humble reality.

Side one consists of ‘Ruminations I’, a fifteen minute loop piece that moves at a stately, steady pace. Some sort of reed organ is huffing a tired two-note huff until the delicious ‘klunk’ of the tape splice brings us back in a never ending circle.

A light industrial clatter and simple birdsong is mixed well-down adding a crunchy base-note to the rich and complex loopage.  A brief whattle of Greek tones and smudged voices pinches this side to a satisfying and neat end.

Music to read maps to.

Side two is, you guessed it, ‘Ruminations II’, a more synth-based hum.   Like picnicking beneath electricity pylons a faint crackle exists in the air that you can smell rather than hear.  The hum is in no hurry to go anywhere and bimbles drunkenly; the subtle introduction of some domestic chiff-chaff blends perfectly with the blokes putting up scaffolding outside.

After a time I become aware of the most delicate of melodies that seems to hang in space.  I’m not sure where it came from, or when it started but it’s tweaking a memory lobe labelled A Guy Called Gerald for some reason.  There’s no acid on this wax but definitely some uplifting mojo is afoot!

Confident and meditative, this tape would sit nicely in the never-never land of Round Bale Recordings or the latest old-beard-euro-freak seam mined by Chocolate Monk.

 

Harrison Hypermarket

Reading Group

Singing Knives Records

Invisible City Records

-ooOOoo-

TUSK to TUSK: rob hayler on the year past and the ‘final’ midwich show

September 22, 2017 at 11:42 am | Posted in midwich, musings, new music, no audience underground | 7 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

TUSK 2017 poster

Shit.  Who would have thought that 2017 could turn out to be worse than 2016?  At the global level, possibly irreversible man-made climate change is screaming ‘I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO’ as it flattens, floods or incinerates.  The leader of the free world is a ham-faced, racist, narcissistic idiot who appears happy to boast about the prospect of nuclear war.  I started typing ‘I could go on..’ but I’m not sure I can.  I feel the same stomach-flipping foreboding that kept me awake as a teenager in the ‘80s.

On a more personal level, my plan to ‘sort everything out’ whilst on sabbatical from radio free midwich has yielded mixed results.  Without going into detail, months have been sliced from the year caring for elderly relatives following a ‘things will never be the same’ level accident.  My own life has been complicated by learning to cope with diabetes and other long-term, soul-withering nonsense that would be unwise for me to discuss on a public forum.  Everything is either an emergency or delayed indefinitely.

As I write, waves of rain are crashing against the back windows of the house, and Warehouse: Songs and Stories is playing quietly in the background, commemorating the untimely death of Grant Hart.  I look up at a post-it note with ‘fencing flatworm 2017 release: East of the Valley Blues’ written on it, placed at an optimistic angle on the wall nine months ago (sorry fellas)…

So [takes deep breath] what to do?  As always: count my blessings, be realistic, look forward. It ain’t all bad.  Living with my wife Anne and our four year old son Thomas is an inexhaustible source of strength and inspiration.  Family switches the light back on when it grows dark in my head.  Joe is doing a staggering job at the helm of this beautiful blog.  The #noiselife area of Twitter I frequent has offered an easy way of maintaining connections even at the busiest times.  And then there’s music, always music.  From bangers heard on 1Xtra whilst I’m cooking to the glottal pops and retches of the latest gurglecore tape as recommended below.

When talk of TUSK Festival 2017 started appearing on social media I recalled what a life-affirming blast it had been in 2016 and vented my frustration at our current lack of funds via a handful of joke tweets (read from bottom to top):

tusk tweets

This caught the attention of Lee Etherington, TUSK head honcho, and – fuck me – he only went for it!  So, at the moment it looks like I’m going to be hosting a discussion about the state of, ahem, ‘the underground’ then perform immediately after.  GET IN!  I’m delighted and as this is such a relatively high profile gig that I could use to springboard my career to the next level I’m going to… nah, only joking:

I’m going to use it to kill midwich.

NWW - A Sucked Orange cover pic

Some context.  One of the headline acts is Nurse With Wound.  I imagine virtually all readers of this blog will be familiar with at least some of the music of Steven Stapleton and his numerous collaborators.  As such, it is unlikely to surprise you that his work is an enormous influence on me, maybe one of the two biggest on my output as midwich.  The magickaldronetronics of Soliloquy for Lilith – constructed from recordings of self-playing pedal loops manipulated hands-off like a Theremin – is something I have pathetically tried to harness numerous times.  What might raise an eyebrow, though, is how much of the dada and whimsical side of Stapleton’s catalogue I’ve absorbed too.  In amongst the drones I’ve always used skittish interludes, sometimes jokey, sometimes intentionally irritating or deliberately on the verge of being so.  This is all the fault of albums like A Sucked Orange – a collection of off cuts that I adore – which is a perfect manifestation of Stapleton’s inspiring unconcern with the mucking about that comes with being, y’know, an actual musician.  It might genuinely be the case that the track ‘Pleasant Banjo Intro With Irritating Squeak’, a mere 43 seconds long, is the biggest musical influence not only on midwich but on how I think about what is possible in ‘the underground’.  Chew on that.

To be on the same bill as this band (albeit as part of a weekend-long festival and in an adjacent room) makes me feel rubbery with excitement and nerves.  This is pretty much all I wanted to happen one day.  Now it will, so I’m done.

(An aside on the other biggest influence on midwich: Pan sonic.  Oh god, how I loved their heaving rumble that had me gluing a coin to the cartridge to stop my prissy needle jumping off the record in disgust.  Just as impressive though was how they threaded this cyclopean density with intricacy, thought and playfulness.  Like an obsidian carving of Cthulhu shaking its polyps to Miami Bass.  The removal of the second ‘a’ from their name, then calling the following album ‘A’, is perhaps the most deadpan, thus funniest, ‘fuck you’ to corporate bullying I can think of.  Inspiring on so many levels.  I was truly saddened by Mika Vainio’s passing this year and, in my own hopelessly inadequate way, my set will be in tribute.)

pan sonic a

What then does it mean when I say ‘I’m going to kill midwich’?  Anyone who has spoken to me before or after any midwich gig of recent years has heard me complaining about the growing unreliability of the Roland MC-303 Groovebox that has been (almost) my sole instrument since 1999.  It’s a remarkable machine but it has been hammered to the point that getting what I want out of it involves an ungainly combo of cajoling and brute force.  I have long spoken of a ‘final’ performance.  This would be a ‘Greatest Hits package’ (I’m semi-serious – any requests?) ending with the tearing up of the manual and the dismantling of the machine, handing out keys, pots and components to audience members as souvenirs.  What more satisfyingly perverse way could there be to end a long term man/machine relationship than with a ritual disembowelment at a prestige venue? This finality has not yet been finalised – scheduling constraints may force a rethink – but if it proves possible I’m well up for carrying a much lighter bag back to the hotel…

groovebox

So: the prospect of a fun discussion followed by a unique performance with a self-sabotaging, tragic-comic finale, maybe even a physical souvenir!  And the same ticket – very reasonably priced weekend or day options available – sees you right for all the other choice oddness occurring too.

Unmissable, eh? See you there.

TUSK Festival 2017, Sage Gateshead, 13-15 October

midwich Bandcamp site

—ooOoo—

 

hymns clog up the internet of things : joe henderson on every contact leaves a trace

September 16, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Helen White – Solar Wind Chime (Every Contact Leaves a Trace)

Simon Whetham – Drowning Electret (Every Contact Leaves a Trace)

 Marvin Tate & Joseph Clayton Mills – The Process (Every Contact Leaves a Trace)

 Bang the Bore Artists – Twelve Tapes (Every Contact Leave a Trace)

 Henry Collins – The Masters (Every Contact Leaves a Trace)

 

The day is Thorsday the Fifth of September. I am going to start anywhere.  And I am not going to tell you he’s running thru a field.

 This is The Bardo. The Brighton Bardo, that he was born into and that I now return. I’m not wiping away the liquid that my eyes are producing. I want him to feel a little light rain on his luminous coat that reflects and absorbs the sky like a Pegasus half horse half angel. Captain Blue Bear, is what I call him, to describe as accurately in pig-English his unique sky-tones and grizzly nobility. I tear away a piece of the outbound ticket to construct my smoke. Funny how the return was taken away. Funny how we entrust our intimacy to so-called beasts.

Robo-cop has to decide whether he’s human or a machine. It’s a lot easier to be cold and sociopathic. You don’t need to suffer anymore. But sometimes some Thing gets under your skin that forces you to feel. What a heartless bastard you would be to take a different road otherwise.

These are the sounds of The Brighton Bardo (Locational. AKA: Seven Lies. Where all roads lead back in and there is no escape). A place for the mad and the sick and the walking dead. A transient place where no one lives, just passing thru. An annex of Londinium, the Greatest City on Earth, connected by artery and blood.

I am sitting on the soiled, rat-stained carpet at The Asylum Hotel trying to figure out which rune is blood branded on a wad of beard I have stashed in my ear-phone pouch. I have connected the listening apparatus to the music transmitter and am attempting to connect the listening apparatus to my own ear so that I can join all the dots and roll with the reality. My listening ear is clogged up from high volumes but it’s okay ‘cause the earphones are broken too. I use my one good ear together with the one good earphone and now we’re dialing him in. That’s how we roll. He loves the radio. Keeps him company. He loves our soft husky girl voices too. Let’s bring him home gently. Let’s turn on the sounds of The Brighton Bardo, finally. ‘Cause it’s been about seven years already. Why is it so painful to connekt?

Is it the black lodge?

Solar-Wind-Chime

Helen White – Solar Wind Chime (Every Contact Leaves a Trace) CD and digital album

It is the solar wind chimes that burn my ear. I tone it down; at any moment someone could come in and disturb these natural instruments and this placid balance. Must be some fast-paced currents in there. I keep forgetting, I’m in there. It’s an effect on the ear. I know that the ear is the last to go, but I didn’t realize that memory worked this way. I keep forgetting I’m here already. In The Bardo. Probably ‘cause it’s too painful to remember. Which is why we have burial rites and why you should never utter a curse in to the dead. The solar storms. That’s interesting. You can pause in The Bardo and check your oracle or library.

The solar storms. He was like a beached whale. Large solar storms. Trapped and lost on European beaches (insert no other, tell the truth). Autopsies showed they were disease-free (I am no longer talking to you, but him). There are climactic changes ‘round here. They drive prey into the North Sea. We need to eat at some point, Boy. The Mariners follow to their doom. That’s not where we’re going, Buoy. Although we are attracted to the huge quantities of squid found in those colder waters, we can’t get stranded. We’ll be lost in the desert forever. We are eight-armed and forever. We are blue. We will eat you. Young males like us head North. We are Snow-Wolves with loyalty to our Master. We learn to read anomalies like you learn to read the contours on maps.

This is The Bardo.

Dominated from midnight by large-scale solar storms, like the ones we flew thru. I take you everywhere with me. The persistence of memory is the true suffering of us. Storms full of charged particles and radiation is the air we breathe in The Bardo. A wasteland of cold, distorted, powerful lights. We are in the sea now. We are lost. Communications and satellites have been damaged. I don’t think anyone can hear us back home. But if there’s anyone I would rather be with on the edge of the world – it’s you. It’s raining again, and I’m sorry if it’s toxic. I said that I was Artemis, long ago, and that you are forgiven. I take that back. The rain is toxic and it’s burning our eyes. We want to find these magnetic mountains, because you and me both are wrong, and that’s why I love you and I’ll go with you. They call it the ‘Guard-rail’ and we are curious about that because you are a bouncer and no-body puts baby in the corner. He howls all night. We’ve been given advice that the mountain range is rendered invisible now in 2017 and that means that we are allowed to swim into the North Sea. So, that’s where we’re heading. Stranded after the storm. We swim into a desert. The gate has been left open. For the first time in Seven or so years. In fact, the gate has been dismantled. And left by the front door. There is no need to close it anymore. All is empty. All is quiet. A longing for intimacy that will pile upon itself until I am removed from this place and put out of my misery. No more suffering. A quiet death. No more pain. Swirling colours stop. There’s no sound. Or Chaos. The Northern Lights Stop.

You see it keeps going back ‘round again if you do not shout STOP

Drowning-Electret

Simon Whetham – Drowning Electret (Every Contact Leaves a Trace) CD and digital album

We pause for a moment. He is thirsty, so I hydrate him with my eye waters. I’m not turning the tap off for anybody. Not when we need it. His black lips and eyes pay the wages of Avon ladies with black lip-gloss and eyeliner. He is the black-faced annihilator.

It’s relatively quiet at The Asylum Hotel when I abandon him. Only planes overhead and a crack from a girl a few minutes ago. Time doesn’t work the way you think it does. But you already know that.

So let’s go back.

Chanting. We don’t know where it comes from. Sometimes it’s overtaken by cars. But somehow it persists. Could be music. Could be the beach. I’m coming back, don’t woof.

How do you do it? How do you kill?

I ask quite clearly with no expectation of an answer.

They say I’m cold ‘cause I bonded with a machine. Down here we try not to dwell on it. But when I return to The Bardo it is memory that is the air we breathe. I’m not allowed to put my heart on the line except for in The Bardo. Here, we talk. We say you’ve lost your intimacy-machine. Let me massage you.

I hesitate to Drown.

I’m going back when the present is still, present. She talks of the calm and the peak. It’s too late, as usual. We are now together again talking about drowning and we seem to know more about that than we like to admit. We are water-creatures. Water-creatures don’t talk about drowning. That’s like a fish saying to his buddy “I’m sorry mate, but I just wet myself”.

We are passing thru a place where people leave us alone. That is good. The trains sound like trees and the trees jangle. We are moving. That is good. The Drowning Electret hurries into some metal shape forms and builds railroads and pylons for us to move in. That’s where you will find us, ultimately. In the tin can rolling down the street. Amplified by some lonely guy. Transmitted to aliens on earth. Aliens, like flies, and dogs. And Octopi. And Earth. And Things that just ain’t human. Like cars, and bits of metal. And plastic. And dead-mans blood.

The transmission breaks up. Which is usually a sign for me to go. I’ll stay with you tho. You are passing thru The Bardo. Alone. And you will come back to me, but chances are I will be so world-weary-stressed that I will not recognize my Brother. And we shall pass by each other not even knowing. Whilst caressing twigs, like kids.

I am now alone. We have become separated. This break-up is aesthetically interesting. But, what is more interesting to me is finding you. I know it could take years. But I don’t want to draw it out that long and I’d rather have you by my side NOW. Your senses are superior to mine, and I need you to survive. It’s a break-up. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with this information. Describe it for you all? It sounds like a radio transmission. Breaking up. By an individual who calls themselves “Simon Whetham”. It sure is wet. We are drowning and lost.

We are starving. Or so that is how you always feel.

I’ll eat for you Brother.

And accidently tread on flies for you.

To help you sleep.

 

We are in The Bardo again.

Things are breaking up. Transmission flimsy.

It’s cold. But I think that’s normal. You are a Snow-Wolf. I laid two blankets upon you. It’s not the height of human accomplishment to be warm.

We are gonna find it tricky to navigate in these conditions. You are wild.

Your yelp grew softer. I was rarely frightened of you. Now we walk side by side, together. The only thing that can make me leave you is fear of death. And how can I fear loving what is dead.

There’s nothing really on the airwaves. It’s an absence. A static persistence. Pleasurable for some reason. Reasons such as 1) That it holds a deeper meaning that can be accessed thru deviant means. 2) That it is so devoid of meaning that the listener can transpose whatever they like into it and literally make these sounds their own. 3) That there is nothing there, which gives a lot of space to create worlds.

I guess it’s the sound of him disintegrating into the void whilst I heat a probably rotten meal in the oven to nourish myself. It has to be done, but you can’t help but think of alternatives. It’s breaking up. There’s nothing there. Has Question Time started again? (To go into another). I’ll come back. [I’m getting lost again – The maps are fizzling]

[TIME]

The-Process

Marvin Tate & Joseph Clayton Mills – The Process (Every Contact Leaves a Trace) CD and digital album

I’ve woken up. My thumb and my bed are on fire. The seagulls are screaming. The only problem is the siren.

It’s breaking up again. Feedback & noise. Lashing. THE PROCESS.

Voices. Memories tryna find a groove, a channel, a vessel. Radio.

Vacuum. Storm shutters down. I think we’ve been here before, the other night of fire. It’s a different day, a different reality. Different feet plodding thru the fog and filthy air. Senile and pleasant. Glitches, samples. I think we have come to the memory space. Processors. Fragments. Cyber-edited. Internal. No acoustics. Layers of Cycles. Regret. Hymnal. Cut grass. Whistling doppelgangers melting into a suburb. Erased. Memos. Night terrors of not recognizing this new room. Can’t reconcile. Archival. Snippets. Kreng-like. Cotton wool, dirty brainspace. Slowly snapping spine. Head tipped backwards, waking up mid-lobotomy. Is this the place where we forget. Eternal sunshine. Intruders, unknown presences, scrubbed out and shadows sanded down from the door frames. Mechanically dysfunctional neuroses. Backed into a corner, a collage of hyper-auditory-impressions. Distilled into a time-frame before silence and snow crunch. We are in the radio-space now. Meddled by winds and far-away gusts. Distant commune. Transmissions clearer. Pounding, haunted, rippling. Deep, depth tones emerging like liquid spirits. Total disorientation. Sweet little motives rising up from time to time like butterflies with the same colour as your loved one – something beautiful to catch a glimpse of before utter disintegration. Always fleeting. Paused dialogues and rain. Wet again. My rain soaked skin has its own memory. All the times we’ve been here before. We look for something outside. Particularly voices are soothing and we are listening out in this rain battered territory. Hymns clog up the Internet of Things. We can’t see the bigger picture, we are in fly-mode. Bondaged. Unfinished sentiments. Flecks of semantic recognition. Smashing a piano. A Time Machine. Argument. Nothing is rubbed out. Nothing is not heard. Running up and down the stairs. Walking thru the snow. Everything you’ve ever heard. Everything you’ve ever said. Everything you’ve ever heard said. Documented. In a cloud. When the cloud comes near – noise. The betrayal of coherence. You are longing for them. The things you have lost. Walking thru the snow. The sounds of the Northern Lights low enough that they touch your ears. You become a rowboat. Paddling thru serenely. With your wolf at your side. Watching out across a horizon that wants no end. Strangers now. Playing pool in a church hall. The ground has turned solid and you are alone. Watching from the other side. Unable to remember when you were here before. A gnawing deja vu. Stumbling often. Looking thru to some scene you can’t understand. Acoustic engulfment. STOP.

Twelve-Tapes

Bang the Bore Artists – Twelve Tapes (Every Contact Leave a Trace) CD and digital album

Whiskey nights over we wake up to this new storm. Buildings swaying like chewing gum and a sense of evacuation before the Leviathan.

I take my hat and shades off. Wipe my eyes. And focus on the Outside again. This fresh apocalypse. Check my seismometer.

I’m going to take Twelve steps forward and no more.

  1. Everything stopped.
  2. The eye was blue
  3. I smell my finger. It smells of burnt flesh.
  4. Opiate
  5. The power is cut to my respirator
  6. Images of red circles flowing outwards
  7. The mangled cars at the feet of Beachy Head
  8. Flowing under the ocean floor
  9. Jerk
  10. Angels swaying violently
  11. A calm television
  12. I can hear screaming through the walls. The room becomes a boat.

I’m turning you on now. I’m flipping my memory-switch to ‘Forget” for a moment to take this Thirteenth step.

I put my coat on, dig in. My one good ear. It’s 7am. Passing the underground car-park at the foot of Bear Road, where that old railway line used to hover above, now hovering in memory ‘cause it’s gone and things move so fast these days you gotta watch your back for the speed. Click ON. There’s no auditory simulation round here, this is the best we’re gonna get. No perfection. Raw perception, whether you like it or not. Too hot, take it off, too cold, put it on. Revolving door Brighton Bardo. There’s something about car-parks at this time of the morning. The silence and seagulls and high-pitched coins and bankcards and exhaustion. Transient scores to settle. We’ll go anywhere to get the business done. Facial recognition tells me that this one is coastal and that tells me it comes with its own cacophony. The noise of the sea. A constant thread that links these places. And out-sources others. It’s a time capsule in here. The outside world has toned itself down and made quick. A vault. An arena. This prolonged anxiety on a thread. An electric beam. I’m so upset, for no reason. I claw back at the rope. The snow-blizzard exercise at the Antarctic. A crude drawing of a face scribbled on to my bucket-head. The sine-wave safety line. Burning up. Persisting. The constant persistence of grit. Molded into vaults and safety chambers. To store yer car. And keep ‘em out. And move you. And kill you. Is it a saber. To drive into the heart of the void. An empty car-park. With all those homicide outlines of cars that died ages ago. Only one victim per bay. Each victim pays the toll. And the toll paves the way. Is it a purification. To make strange the mundane. A true Lynchian shape. Exotic birds come out for a sec. Escaped birds. The horrible sound of a person’s voice, so buried that it could be machine. It’s burning up. The voices. Black metal and noise and nihilism at dawn. The problem is these birds hide out here. Things don’t work the way they should do. You just hear the burning blistering breakfast symphony of the transience. No one lives here, no one lives here, just passing thru. I am amplifying dust. The constant stream of a singularity. Cutting thru the waste. Lending a hand to consistency AKA: TIME. Installing some statue with its finger pointed at you or away from you like a sundial. Depending on how deep the cellar goes. I’m fucking up tremendously and there’s only so many hours in the day I can squeeze all these errors in. When the landscape become black I kinda feel like there’s either no one playing or the greatest player on earth has just taken the stage. Either way. The silence has just reverse fizzled. And gone. Cheerz Seth, that’s truly masterful werk from the contact sheet. (Lucier bound)

The-Masters-Cover-Possibility-1

Henry Collins – The Masters (Every Contact Leaves a Trace) CD and digital album

Four days in. Reminiscent of something sinister. And loss.

Thwang.

Repeatedly.

Impersonalized.

Watching someone else do something you don’t understand.

Searching for the next rabbit-hole.

Phazer.

Shifting.

Plates of terrain. Flat-lined.

Micro.

Tetris blankness.

At the end of the driveway.

You are supposed to be here.

Thwang.

On the day we feed your young fellas.

Drinking water with Ice Valley

Iron clink.

Lawn-mower thorax miniature bird thing

I can see this plain is one of many

Quite a long way to go

We must stop time

Thwacking soft wet grass

Digital Robin

Mar-A-Largo is flattened

He emerges from a bunker in the Virgin Islands.

This smacking between zones, flittered. Chopped.

Humid butchery.

Sigh aviation

Dead man walking

Trace in the reflection

Flicker.

Chopped up bird & grass mixture

All the moments that flank and escape commentary

Knocked out of range

You’ve got to slow down.

You’ve missed them.

Shift some more snow.

This was an account of our movements thru The Bardo whilst the world collapses. Sound tracked by the sound, text & images of ‘Every Contact Leaves a Trace’ artists.

Street Editions (August/September)

SUNFLOWERS

 

 Every Contact Leaves a Trace

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clicking down the delta: paul margree on mikroton recordings

September 10, 2017 at 6:05 am | Posted in new music, no audience underground | 1 Comment
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MKM – Instants//Paris (Mikroton Recordings)

Burkhard Beins / Lucio Capece / Martin Küchen / Paul Vogel -Fracture Mechanics (Mikroton Recordings)

Ease – No No No, No (Mikroton Recordings)

Alfredo Costa Monteiro / Miguel A. Garcia – Aq’Ab’Al (Mikroton Recordings)

Kurt Liedwart / Andrey Popovskiy / Martin Taxt – Hjem (Mikroton Recordings)

The Holy Quintet – Borough (Mikroton Recordings)

 Kurt Liedwart’s Mikroton Recordings has been broadcasting dispatches from the outer realms of aural voyaging since 2008. Its discography takes in luminaries of abstract improvised sounds such as Keith Rowe, Jason Kahn and Burkhard Beins, as well as newer voices such as Lucio Capece or Miguel A. Garcia.

Mapping the label’s aesthetic would probably encompass the slow ruptures of Crypt-era AMM, the bruising subtleties of Berlin Echtzeitmusik and the glacial intensity of reductionism and its adherents. Electroacoustic improvisation is the phrase you’d reach for, I guess. But take a few steps into this Moscow label’s back catalogue and it becomes clear that this term is about as useful as mapping the ever-widening delta of these musicks as a paper cup is for boiling an egg.

Keeping up with Liedwart’s release schedule can be exhausting. But it’s rewarding, too. Time spent with a Mikroton release opens your brain and ears to the wonders of unconventional sound. Everyday objects are reconfigured into talismanic sonic generators and the orthodoxies of conventional instrumentation are subverted. Hurricanes in the bathtub. Prickles on the skin of a bubble. Scuffles in the grey dawn.

Most of the releases under review here came out earlier in the year. There have been several more since. But as entry points into Mikroton’s fascinating discography, they can’t be beat.

mkm

MKM – Instants//Paris (Mikroton Recordings) CD and digital album

Back in 2012,the Swiss trio of Jason Kahn, Günter Müller and Norbert Möslang assembled in Paris for a lively session of hustle and grind. It wasn’t the first time they’d played together – their debut release was back in 2008 – but sufficient vitality remains here to counter any familiarity.

Kahn has since put his analogue synth and radio setup to one side in preference for longform vocal extemporizations, but this performance never feels like a museum piece. His contributions lock together with Müller and Möslang’s cracked consumer electronics to produce bursts of junkshop argy-bargy in which individual contributions are subsumed into the overarching grey drizzle.

Early sections are a bustling farrago, the collection of gritty burps and high, needling tones not dissimilar to ‘Valentine’, Kahn’s head-to-head with Phil Julian from a year or so back.

It’s chewy, tangible stuff, the irregular bursts of noise like some slo-mo Super 8 footage of a trio of dune buggies carving up the terminal beach. The crew swerve away from any kind of crescendo or manipulative sonic topography, instead allowing the vicissitudes of their kit and caboodle to create natural peaks and lulls. They can’t help building up a head of steam towards the end, though, with a full-spectrum chunter that would give a factory full of boiling kettles a run for its money, before cutting out for an appropriately deadpan finale.

Fracture-Mechanics

Burkhard Beins / Lucio Capece / Martin Küchen / Paul Vogel – Fracture Mechanics (Mikroton Recordings) CD and digital album

An allusive take on multidimensional improvisation from this collection of veterans, most of whom exist as points on the Echtzeitmusik/reductionist/electroacoustic axis.

Where ‘Instants//Paris’ was rough-edged and impolite, ‘Fracture Mechanics’ is enigmatic and considered. Long, breathy saxophone hoots waft across a jittery bed of interference. Glottal clicks rattle between glassy tones like a spittle flecked metronome in a temple. In ‘Pebble Snatch’, two saxophones – Capece on soprano and Küchen on tenor – moan in prehistoric lament. ‘Pendentive’ sets a cavern of ritualistic percussion against lattices of frowning gurgles and hand-bell tinkles.

There’s a lot going on under these unruffled surfaces. A wide-ranging array of equipment – the usual speakers, iPod, radios and objects you’d expect from this milieu, plus saxophones, hand oscillators, e-bowed zithers, monotron, snare drum and, best of all, ‘air from another planet contained in terrestrial glassware’ – yields a rich matrix of effects, but the space is never crowded. Restraint is as important as variety, the cumulative experience of the four players giving them an intuitive sense of when to hold back and when to push out.

Recorded in Ljubljana in 2014, ‘Fracture Mechanics’ is a prime example of the Mikroton aesthetic, with the slow-burn epic of ‘Transmogrification’ a highlight. An ear-rinsing squeal is a low-decibel, high-frequency endurance test, its groan as insistent as a fridge left open in the middle of the night. Godzilla rumbles drag themselves across a vast plain. Its 30-minute runtime resembles an aerial flythrough of a sleeping hive mind, occasional neuron flashes lighting up the dreaming nerve-centre. When it ends, you awake, refreshed.

Ease

Ease – No No No, No (Mikroton Recordings) CD and digital album

I have a soft spot for handmade or custom-built instruments. They force innovation through defamiliarisation. Lacking history, tradition, convention, players have to bend their usual techniques into new shapes, or adopt new ones.

In electronic music, where easy-to-use interfaces combined with infinite variety results in comfort zone-produced cliché, self-made or hand-coded systems are an essential part of keeping things fresh.

And so it goes with ‘Ease’, a Viennese duo of Klaus Filip and Arnold Haberl, aka Noid. The pair uses ppooll, an open-source software tool, to create eerie and minimal computer soundscapes. Both musicians are programmers and are deeply involved in ppooll’s development community (indeed, Filip was one of the founders of the system) and so both are adept in manipulating their system to achieve astounding results – the compositions here are elegant, dense and compelling, moving with the unpredictable implacability of a weather system across a mountain range. There’s an occasional resemblance to fellow countrymen Farmer’s Manual’s live-coded suppleness in the constant, gradual shifts of these two long tracks. There’s also a gritty edge, recalling Kevin Sanders’ briefcase synth cosmologies.

In fact, of all Mikoton’s recent releases, ‘No No No, No’ is the one that fits best into the No-Audience Underground or Extraction Music taxonomies. It’s thanks mainly to the way in which Filip and Haberls’ individual contributions come together – the former moulding sine waves and high tones into beautiful forms, like a glassblower creating a set of skeletal, numinous sculptures, while the latter processes field recordings and natural sounds into rough, low-end rumbles and soft beachy huffs. An addictive, immersive recording.

aq-ab-al

Alfredo Costa Monteiro / Miguel A. Garcia – Aq’Ab’Al (Mikroton Recordings) CD and digital album

If that all sounds a tad refined, Aq’Ab’Al might just be aggressive enough to whet your whistles.

These four chunks of intense cyborg aggression from this Iberian duo balance driller-killer vibrations with a seismically-potent low-end, all rendered in terrifying hi-definition clarity. Skynet tone-clouds meet earthmover grumbles in abrupt, dystopic visions of posthumanity. It’s thrilling, visceral stuff, brutal enough to shatter the gallery politesse of much art-music, yet retaining sufficient detail and ideas to keep you interested through repeated exposure to its tungsten surfaces.

The title comes from Mayan astrology and refers to opposites, change and renewal. While it is strange that something so unnervingly futuristic should take an ancient religion as its touchstone, Monteiro and Garcia are only the latest in a line of experimental artists reaching back through the past for inspiration. Think of Eliane Radigue’s ‘Song of Milarepa’, (inspired by the teachings of the ancient Tibetan Buddhist scholar), Morton Subotnik’s ‘The Wild Bull’(the title comes from the Epic of Gilgamesh) or Milton Babbit’s ‘Philomel’ (based on a myth from Ovid’s). In any case, listeners familiar with Mayan ideas about the end of the world – remember 2012? And Mel Gibson? – won’t have to try too hard to find the duo’s high-velocity screeches and catastrophic thunderclaps appropriately apocalyptic. These guys have seen the future. And it is murder.

Hjem

Kurt Liedwart / Andrey Popovskiy / Martin Taxt – Hjem (Mikroton Recordings) CD and digital album

The ppooll system makes another appearance here, this time in the hands of label boss Kurt Liedwart, in a trio with Norwegian tuba player Martin Taxt and St Petersburg violinist Andrey Popovskiy.

This is quiet noise of a superior kind, Taxt and Liedwart ganging up to create laminal extended horizons through which Popovskiy scratches rough and ready paths. Taxt’s tuba is great, its long brassy parps calling out like the mating calls of mysterious sea monsters, the affectless playing unable to banish the final traces of the instrument’s characteristic pathos. Liedwart’s electronics fizzle and splutter in parallel, muddy splatters morphing into frothy sploshes before emptying into micromanaged arpeggios.

If this were a duo, this would all be rather too symmetrical for me. Fortunately, Popovskiyis a wild card, his viola, electronics and objects adding welcome wayward notes to the meditative jam. At one point, a sound like a rusty gate cuts through the cool drones, soon followed by a load of bashing and banging, as if the janitor of the Dom Cultural Centre in Moscow (where this was recorded) has chosen the worst possible time to repair the central heating system. It’s a cue for things to get scrappier, with various rustles and clonks prodding Taxt into exhausted, erratic honks, while by nervy gusts of electronics chatter their support.

borough

The Holy Quintet – Borough (Mikroton Recordings) CD and digital album

 Recorded in the Welsh Congregational Chapel in Borough, southeast London, this quintet of Johnny Chang (Viola), Jamie Drouin (suitcase modular and radio), Dominic Lash (double bass), Lazaridou-Chatzigoga (zither) and David Ryan (bass clarinet) takes on an appropriately spectral quality as their manifold creaks, strikes and crunches fade in and out of hearing.

Like a lot of Mikroton releases, the link between the players, their instruments and the sounds that we hear on the record are mysterious. Here the disconnect is even more pronounced. Sure, those stringy bumps could be Dominic Lash’s bow bouncing across his cello strings and that hollow, silvery tone could David Ryan’s bass clarinet. But, on the whole, sounds float free from their moorings, sonic manifestations divorced from their physical aspects. As a result, these two sets exist somewhere between possession and haunting, the personnel mimicking a Victorian spiritualist meeting, the attendees channeling the ghostly music of the aether even as they’re taunted by cheeky, restless spirits.

The uncredited sixth player in this quintet is silence. There’s a talk a lot about silence in the experimental music world – how much of it to allow in a performance or a recording, whether we can ever achieve true silence, how to banish it, even.  Yet we rarely acknowledge that silence is not a fixed, immutable entity. It can be blissful, mysterious, meditative, depending on the context. Here it is oppressive, claustrophobic, bearing down on these ghostly voices like a force field. Absence becomes presence, and sound becomes a last barrier against oblivion.

 Mikroton Recordings (news etc)

Mikroton Recordings (stuff to buy)

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The RFM tag team special: Chrissie Caulfield on Vera Bremerton and Joe Posset on Stuart Chalmers and Three Eyed Makara

September 3, 2017 at 8:20 am | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Vera Bremerton – Songs of Apostasy EP (Self Release)

Stuart Chalmers – Loop Phantasy No 4 (Chocolate Monk)

Three Eyed Makara – Moonmilk Roof (Crow Versus Crow)

vera bremerton

Vera Bremerton – Songs of Apostasy EP (Self Release) CD and digital album

I first encountered Vera Bremerton when I was looking for people to play a gig with my band CSMA in London a couple of years ago. Vera’s submission was an early one but I knew at once she’d got the job. Here was someone with high-end musical skills in composition and performance, and theatricality in spades.

The performance she gave that day was electrifying (I heartily recommend the video I made of it) and I was sorry that she didn’t have anything recent on Bandcamp for me to review for the good readers of this blog. There were releases on her Bandcamp site, but they all dated from quite a bit earlier than I was writing for.

Well now she has a new EP out. And it’s as amazing as I’d hoped, though sadly it’s only 3 tracks long. The solution to this is, of course, to play it twice.

Tracks 1 and 4 open with a quiet industrial beat which draws you in gently before hitting you flat in the face. It’s total distorted headbanging stuff, and this is before the vocals have even started. Once they do, the two voices (both Bremerton of course) provide a fascinating and disturbing narrative. There’s the powerful, diabolical alto voice and the gently, tortured soprano who disappears from the song totally, and disturbingly, in the middle.

The thing this most reminds me of is Schnittke’s Faust Cantata. The tonality is of a similar style as is the two opposing voices being played off against each other – sadly the great man was not so much into industrial beats. The double-voice effect is something Vera does amazingly well live as you will have seen if you took my advice and watched the video I mentioned above.

This is Amy Winehouse teamed up with Björk in Scrapheap Challenge (don’t ask me who they’re playing against, probably Bananarama, who stand no chance) and it’s utterly glorious.

Tracks 2 and 5 are a less frenetic affair. I do love the opening to this, to me it sounds like a household object being tortured. This eases you gently into the main body of the track, but the rattle of the opening comes back to ‘rattle’ you at regular intervals (sorry, couldn’t resist). The distorted beats of the first track are still there but they provide more of a menacing ostinato for Vera to sing a longer line over. The words here are less distinct (though that might just be my ear infection playing up). Regardless, I don’t think there are any until around 2 minutes in [subs: please check this].

A version of the rattling from the beginning brings the track to a temporary halt around 2:40, it’s a lovely moment of potential calm as the reverb tail dies away, but then the whole thing comes back in, harder than ever. More layers are added to both the vocal lines and the beats, with that terrifying knocking coming back harder than ever. Sit tight in your seat for this one.

Tracks 3 and 6 have a much longer, calmer opening. Though ‘calmer’ is probably not the right word. Yes I chose it … and now I regret it. Sorry. Spooky would be much nearer. There’s a gentle synth drone with occasional punctuations from what sounds like an infernal machine winding up to perform some terrible function. The lyrics “Do what you will ….” increase the discomfort until the track explodes into ultra-violence at around 2:10. Despite the re-occurrence of the ‘spooky’ section after this and the words ‘mangled and torn, my body …’ there IS more violence to come. Luckily for the listeners, we only get torn apart emotionally.

The track’s coda is an almost normal-sounding drum beat that dissolves into the final verse that sounds as though it’s supposed to be more optimistic, but really you’re not so sure about that, I suspect it’s more ‘death as final release’. An extract from a Dido’s Lament for the 21st century.

In short – (and this EP is too short) I’m totally in love with this music. There’s sensitivity and subtlety even in the more violent sections. You can hear the care that has been taken over the production, even on laptop or phone speakers the intensity is enough to ensnare you and pull you totally into Vera’s amazing world.

More please.

stuart chalmers loop phantasy

Stuart Chalmers – Loop Phantasy No 4 (Chocolate Monk) CDr and digital album

Fantasy jam indeed!

At first I thought the King of the Loops was creating an homage to veteran loopers: Terry Riley, Robert Fripp and Brian Eno.  An audacious loop experiment bringing old beards up-to-date and squealing back into the Underground after years of Sunday Supplement worship.

But no…not a note, fizz or drone comes from these id-wrinklers.  This is a total Chalmers jam and even more the special for it.

Imagine shifting colours of sweet sparkle or the greasy swoop of a bird’s wing.  That’s ‘Rainbows Dancing in Your Head’ a sound so perfectly concave it mirrors the chilly impression made by a neat ice cream scoop.  Cup your palms together to visualise the roundness of sound.  Place them over your ears to hear the sea-shell-sloshing. It’s a celebration of all things wave-like and flowing.

Naked loops, complete with old-school tape-stutter, starts off ‘Flying Dervishes of the Recycled Choir’ – the mid-note cut-off forms a spooky base over which pumping organs throb warm, wet air.  The choir moves from baritone to soprano (probably) with the novel swivel of a pitch wheel.  Upping the creepy ante – is this the new music for The Omen?

‘Bedroom Hypnotica’ takes a single point of shining metal (a captured droplet of cymbal crash?) that is pushed and pulled into a <><><><><><><>< shape.  Opening and closing – it’s a grown up tinkle…like glitter had a noise.  A disco ball seen through mediaeval stained glass: a million points of light reflecting from across those dark centuries illumining the very human need for elevation.

Phew!

After all that sparkle things get gritty on, ‘Yorkshire Folk Song Played and Sung by the Cloud Forest Nomads’, uncovered field recordings of nasal bamboo flutes played in God’s Own Country.  The reedy wheezing soon becomes part of the Chalmers palette to be spread thick with supple knife and greasy fingers. A double-loop quality makes this bounce like a basketball with a rich orange resonance.   The coda darkens the edges of the frame with an unknown quality, a pensive ‘what’s going on?’ that balances the lightness perfectly.

‘Unfurl’?  Classic Frippertronics being fed through the most agreeable Metal Machine Music filter: sounds pop and warble, meshing as tight as fibers becoming colourful felt.

But this sweet Phantasy is brought to a close with the strident ‘Refuseniks Austerity Levitation’, an interrupted drum loop submits to the treatment building extra arms and legs, kicking and punching like Prince Paul hired Hal Blaine for a De La/Chalmers jam.

And if that’s not swollen your pocket I’m giving up!  Carve these letters on a laurel leaf and place firmly behind the ear  – S.C.  K.O.T.L.

Those in the know will wink their glazzies for sure.

three eyed

Three Eyed Makara – Moonmilk Roof (Crow Versus Crow) Cassette and digital album

Collective wood-music from a travelling band of hoiks and bawdy villains!

This honk, clatter and scrape feeds directly into my spine hole pushing out all the bad-vibe juice and letting a fresh-flowing sunlight course though the bones.  It’s a liquid loving that nourishes and warms me.  A marzipan manna that fills my soul and sweeps the bitter tears from my eyes!

I hear you…get back to the typewriter man for some sensible descriptions of what the devil is going on.

Strictly speaking I’d file this under group-think free improvisation with contributions (this time) from:

Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh – Viola
Djuna Keen – Saxophone
Natalia Beylis – Mandobird & Electronics
Willie Stewart – Snare & Floortom & Gong

It steers a path that’s well beyond the jazz zone and creeping into something far more rootsy and dew-scented.  Like silver-edged ferns these pieces untangle themselves from tightly coiled buds and shudder into rude life – proudly standing tall among the scrabbling weeds.

The mixture of primitive and modern is deftly balanced.  Open-throated sax honks battle the drumming menace on ‘Half Blind Valley’ in a jam that could have graced a crusade (or something).

But ‘Oolite and Pitch’ sounds like the Company Week crew took the whole darn show out of the city and into a mushroom circle to play for the assembled fire-sprites.  A manic sawing is the thing that swings, loosening my rivets, as I duck and swerve the brass knuckles and soft drum implosions.

It’s a dance of familiar textures but sewn together in a new way, a patchwork if you will, that can be comforting and saucily intimate.  It turns hollow around the 11 minute mark.  All that bluster and howling, all the defiant bomb-like snare work begin to shuffle round a tree stump like sodden campers.   The final minutes are shrouded in electronic mist (lost White Noise tracks discovered in an old tin can?) that makes each rattle and bleat glow like menacing eyes viewed through a grimy window.

Before I know it the moss is growing through my toes…

Vera Bremerton Bandcamp

Stuart Chalmers Bandcamp / Chocolate Monk

Crow Versus Crow Superstore

-ooOOoo-

only the squad survives: wnns joins rfm, then squints at laurie tompkins, giant claw and dikeman / serries / aquarius

August 20, 2017 at 6:59 am | Posted in new music, no audience underground | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Laurie Tompkins – 45thGeneration Roman & European Bob (Sacred Tapes)

Giant Claw – Soft Channel (Orange Milk Records)

John Dikeman / Dirk Serries / René Aquarius – Day Realms (Tombed Visions)

 

Hey. Nice to see you. Come in. Draw up a cushion. Relax. Have a drink.

We may not have formally met before. I spent some time writing a blog called We Need No Swords. You know it? No? Ah well. It happened, for a while. And then it didn’t. Have a look at it, if you have time. You might like it.

But I’m here at RFM now, sort of, for a little while. You’ll probably see me popping up every few weeks or so. It takes a while, y’see. To get the words out the murk and onto the screen.

So, well, if you’re settled, let’s begin. Are we rolling? Ok.

laurie tompkins

Laurie Tompkins – 45thGeneration Roman & European Bob (Sacred Tapes) cassette and digital album

It seems only fair and logical to start this new adventure in a spirit of continuity rather than rupture. Regular readers of RFM will have enjoyed Marlo Eggplant’s fantastic exploration of the recent output of the Slip label, in particular co-founder Laurie Tompkins’ Heat, War, Sweat, Law, which Ms. Eggplant described as ‘pure play, touching objects, feeling surfaces, and hollering at friends.’

45thGeneration Roman & European Bob is a companion piece to Heat, War, Sweat, Law, sharing the latter’s anarchic spirit, non-existent musicianship and gestural physicality to create ungainly lumps of intuitive, defamiliarized sound-making.

In reality that means showers of yelps and grunts accompanied by wandering organ lines and the clacking splutter of someone banging a flowerpot. The overriding impression is of Tompkins and collaborators Sam Andreae, Suze Whaites and Owen Roberts stumbling across a ruined landscape, picking at the shattered remnants of musical forms, their attempts to remake them hindered by the fog of some post-traumatic amnesia. The yowls, patters and parps are a kind of post-catastrophe music making in a territory for which the maps are long gone.

However, if that’s true, why does it sound so much bleedin’ fun? Heat, War, Sweat, Law, although similar in approach, was immersed in an ambience of frustration, Tompkins wrenching fragments of Heaven 17’s The Height Of The Fighting into a series of despairing modernist anthems. The reference point this time around is The Streets’ ‘Turn The Page’.

“Turn the page on the day/Walk away/Cause they’re sensing what I say/ I’m 45th generation Roman/But I don’t know ‘em.”

Not that you’d recognize any of Mike Skinner’s geezer melancholy in the lines of these cracked mosaics.

Yet although the aesthetic is similar the vibe is completely different, Tompkins and his mob enacting a bizarrely celebratory set of rituals, a prelude to a primitivistic bacchanal. The overlapping hoots and hollers of ‘Fifth’ are a bewildering rush, drama-school posturing mixed with Dionysian abandonment in a proper WTF mash-up. ‘ER’ goes even more dissonant, with faux-clumsy keyboard spurts and bashed flowerpots chiming a stop-start backdrop for Tompkins’ vocal fulminations.

Time to embrace the bonkers, flower children.

giant-claw

Giant Claw – Soft Channel (Orange Milk Records) vinyl and digital album

Giant Claw is the sound of your old Windows XP machine being sliced to ribbons by malware, opening up a backdoor for digital housebreakers to riffle through your iTunes library and Amazon wishlist in a vain search for anything valuable – or at least, ahem, compromising – before giving up in disgust and sauntering off leaving a pile of soiled wreckage in its wake. That all this digital carnage is strangely comforting when served up as safely packaged entertainment for lovers of electro-jolt everywhere is testament to Giant Claw mover and shaker Keith Rankin’s cunning ability to create joy from sonic catastrophe, shredding wholesome nuggets of technological capitalism into itchy blankets of enervated jitterbug soup.

This kind of byte-scrabbled mess won’t be unfamiliar to anyone versed in the Oneohtrix Point Never school of production, which recasts the artist as a kind of hyperspace flâneur  kicking through virtual junkyards until they’ve gathered enough glitchy detritus to hack together lumbering automatons of cyber-rusted manure. But Señor Claw is a bit of maestro at this sort of thing, his two previous albums of hiccupping abrasion – 2014’s Dark Web along with Deep Thoughts from a year later – wearing their compositional nous lightly, the fused nodes of their distorted bloops, vocaloid shards and attention-addled jumpcuts only gradually revealing themselves as the delicately woven threads jig insouciantly past.

And so it goes with Soft Channel, Rankin’s latest missive from his empire of blown soundcards. Released on Rankin’s own Orange Milk label, its frenetic asymmetry may well prompt much gnashing of teeth from those not down with the Giant Claw ethos. After all, if one wanted to hear one’s laptop melting down, one wouldn’t have renewed one’s antivirus subscription, eh? But stick with it and you’ll be rewarded. Those chunks of circuit board gloop transition gradually into gleaming, impossible shapes, like sculptures altering their dimensions each time you see (hear) them. Ineffable snatches of alien choirs nudge up against scrolling vistas of spontaneous composition, their fraggy soundscapes smeared with streams of machine lingo fresh from the droid-brain.

The trebly pixel bursts of ‘Soft Channel 02’ make for particularly refreshing listening, their irregular blurts morphing into a prickly ooze of anime moans and hard-panned stutters. Things get double-caffeinated later, with ‘Soft Channel 006’s’ cello plucks tessellating into modem babble like some Benny Hill hack into the traffic-light mainframe.

You’re only supposed to blow the bloody ports off.

Day Realms

John Dikeman / Dirk Serries / René Aquarius – Day Realms (Tombed Visions) cassette and digital album

David McLean’s Tombed Visions label continues to mine a rewarding seam of mutant sounds that combines fire music’s euphoric blowing with the protean spontaneity of free improvisation. Here he hooks up stateside exploratory reedsman John Dikeman with Belgian guitarist-cum-sound artist Dirk Serries and Dutch powerhouse drummer René Aquarius, for a transatlantic jam that sets a determined course for the far reaches of the universe, the trio losing themselves in gorgeously tangled chains of silvery honk and glassy deep-space glister.

Dikeman, Serries and Aquarius are part of a resurgent wave of free jazz that gathers up players from Europe, the US and UK in a cross–cultural throng. Tombed Visions released the first outing from this trio, Night Realms, in 2016 (it’s also provided on the flipside of this tape for any heads who may have missed it) – and players with a similar worldview, such as Andrew Cheetham, Otto Wilberg, David Birchall, Colin Webster and Sam Andreae, have also been represented, in various combinations, by McLean over the years. Of this lot, the ABC Trio’s two releases come particularly recommended, the threesome of Andreae (tenor sax), Birchall (guitar) and Cheetham (drums) locking together in an astringent yet weirdly groovy manner that’s sure to get anyone that’s interested in non-dogmatic free improvisation foaming at the gums.

Night Realms walks a jazzier line than the spittle ‘n’ leather of the ABC squad, its blissful candour creating a beatific cocoon of sound whose radiance doesn’t let up for the 40-odd minutes of its runtime. René Aquarius, whose muscular, arrhythmic chops for Dead Neanderthals are a major contribution to the duo’s seismic force, lets loose with flurries of cymbal and percussive snare and kick-drum jolts, driving forward his partners’ explorations in tidal surges. Serries is on good form too, with circling mantras whose textural sheen are evocative of In A Silent Way-era McLaughlin.

Together, Serries and Aquarius form a taut mesh through which Dikeman slithers with riverine guile. His playing is fluid and melodic, but tough too, his curling riffs building up into a brassy lung-busting cacophony that transforms Day Realms’ opening quarter of an hour into a joyful overture. It proceeds through a series of peaks and troughs after that, although the rhythm rarely feels contrived. At around 20 minutes, Serries drops out and Aquarius moves to toms, freeing up the higher register for Dikeman to blast out in a reedy, squealing tantrum. Serries edging back in with an extended single-note drone adds another layer of hypnotism, yet the tension is allowed to dissipate, oozing out in a series of desultory splashes and plunks, before the trip gird their loins for cathartic final-minute splatterfest.

Bring the cloths, you’re gonna need to clean up around here.

Sacred Tapes

Orange Milk Records

Tombed Visions

-ooOOoo-

the dada that punk should have become: rfm on chow mwng, robert ridley-shackleton, sons of david ginola, d. coelacanth

August 13, 2017 at 7:37 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Chow Mwng – ULOT-CA  (NWSAS)

Robert Ridley Shackleton – The Opera (Chocolate Monk)

The Sons of David Ginola – Blood Too Thick Symptoms (The House Organ)

D. Coelacanth – Tony Eats Screws (No Label)

chow mwng

 Chow Mwng – ULOT-CA  (NWSAS) sold-out CDR, poetry book and original collage art all presented in a card box and digital album

Truly outstanding song-a-delic bedroom-pop from Wales.

Fill a box with old guitars, keyboards and crooked dreams – bung it all on to your four-track and mix with patience and understanding – that’s Chow Mwng for ya!

Following the trail set by travellers as diverse as The Shadow Ring or Storm Bugs this is a goodly clatter full of fizzing energy and ideas.  Ash Cooke is responsible for this hectoring collection and his vocal delivery, like a Welsh Sexton Ming narrating a Lovecraftian episode of Fingerbobs, is full of gold star moments.

Lyrically he moves from psychedelic domestic observation, to dream-logic vignette by way of sharp social satire.

EXAMPLE: ‘Pop Music is Dead’, a caustic riposte to anyone lazy enough to rest on their local laurels and a half-assed musical approach.  The Super Furry Animals, Marc Riley, 6 Music and Arts Funding all get a kicking from Mwng’s hobnailed boot

 “Like musical Brexit they voted to leave!”

Tune-wise it’s a really loose jam.  A dry collection of skewed songs deeply entrenched in a DIY Maginot line.

EXAMPLE: ‘Tara of Banana’.  A collapsing structure built of plastic pies.  Wind-up machines excite guitar strings in the most eccentric manner.  Squeals and wriggles.  My personal hotspot – The Welsh Kecak!

Life-affirming tunage!

rrs2

Robert Ridley Shackleton – The Opera (Chocolate Monk) CDr

Instant composition, phlegm and confessional come together for RRS’s new operatic piece.  But scrub all you know about fat shrieking and overpriced pomp.  This is opera as domestic diary, opera as rambling monologue, opera as consumer advice!

The clip-clop of a dodgy tape machine is an undercurrent to much of the 78 minutes.  The hiss of recycled tape the orchestral underscore, punnet-scrunch a percussive interlude and a ‘shiff-shiff’ of that patented pocket-jazz sound the crowd-pleasing refrain that gets used on car adverts and sports shows.

So like a diary (with 30 separate tracks suiting sweet September, April, June and November) things move between the mundane and insightful.  Sound-wise, much is indistinct and unclear, it’s like gently melting into another’s mind; thoughts become confused when slipping between individuals and magnetic interference fuzzez the edges.

Some of the subtle bubbling tracks (keyboard, ailing drum machine and packaging material?) are a kind of punk Francisco Lopez with added cassette case ‘klak’.   Others are brief street scenes, unboxings of unnamed produce and notes-to-self.

A religious air infects many of the monologues suggesting Shack is the warmest of messiahs teaching his apostles about the dangers of sunburn turning the testaments into a Game of Thrones-style drama while they stare meekly at his sandals.

The drifting between short snippets is as natural as a daydream and I’m gathering wool (and scribbling notes of course) until the hiss retreats for a time and Shak barks:

“Did you really expect there to be no funk in this opera?”

The true heir to Shalamar mugs the keytar, extolling the virtues of getting loose with ‘card’ and diverting my rooster strut with lines like:

“Everyone needs peace, err…have you seen my niece?  Yeah.  Err…she’s a trouper, it was her birthday recently actually.”

And the funk-jams just keep on coming…durty and greasy Kentucky-fried jams that stand out like hot peppers in among the shuffling shuss…I’m minded of Gwilly Edmondez in the chart zone and wonder, out loud again, how long can it be until these guyz hook up?

Pay attention Bob Dylan. The Cardboard Prince has not left the building and has no intention to until the shops open again.

david ginola

The Sons of David Ginola – Blood Too Thick Symptoms (The House Organ) 3 inch CDr and A6 booklet and copyright free digital album (s)

A new coupling from super-brains and conceptualists, Murray Royton-Ward and Kevin Sanders.  This is one classy disc of gentle rippled popping and supreme geography.

‘An Enormous Bit of Very Old Pipe’ opens this tidy package and first impressions are like walking through a bog; this sound pulls on your extremities.  A heavy gravitational fudge, a thick grey sugary wave sets the tone for intelligent and masterfully placed scrapings and stretchings.  Metal strings are pulled until they squeak their copper brightness to accompany the silt-like shuffle of atoms below.

I’m reminded, curiously, of Amy Winehouse and her finest pipe-based lyric,

“…and I’m the tiny penny rolling up the walls inside.”

That’s perfect Amy…I am that tiny penny too.

The lengthier, darker second and final track ‘Kabra Kebabra’ is a submersible vibrating gently in the sea.  Enormous tentacles wrap the sub and their muscular flexing sends invisible waves booming through the pressurised interior causing event the saltiest mariner to clap their hands to their ears and cry, “Doom!”

On a practical note this fancy package is available on several formats: physical disc & booklet, regular download (but not on that bandcamp nonsense, these cats host for real) on the clear and darkweb for which you’ll need a Tor Browser and the kind of digital knowhow that slips through my brain cracks.

These guys positively encourage peer-to-peer sharing, comment and source-code sharing!  Go nuts you boffins.

tony eats screws

D. Coelacanth – Tony Eats Screws (No Label) CDr

In another universe popular entertainment resisted moving images and the damn TV to celebrate the radio.  In this universe not only has radio become king but the art of listening is elevated to a spiritual duty.

This mysterious and modest disc consists of one Mr D Coelacanth as he staggers and blusters through a pair of readings that celebrate the dada that punk should have become.

Senseless snippets of found sound, TV noise, wrecked R n’B and empty noise-blisters act like scaffolding to keep the brain structure rigid.  They form a much needed cage to hold the pulsating narrative that’s as daffy as nougat, as sinister as blood-stained scissors.

In four-four time speech-grenades explode softly behind my eyes.  They go something like this…

“The plumber left me with a formless kitchen…I can’t cook here my skull is enlightened.”

“The corpse wore perfumed shoes.”

“Fresh Bacon! I was sprouting.”

“That’s a pointed leg you’re holding…listen to the steroids.”

There’s an obsession with larva, muck and bodily grease.  Each snarled exhalation is wreathed in decaying tape-noise, smothered in grot and breathed in an unholy sequence that defies categorisation.   The only way my tiny brain can hold on is to file this under Scandinavian Saga gone ‘scat factory’ or Luke Poot possessing the god Bragi if you prefer.

I’ve had a quick look on the computer and there literally is no way to get hold of this disc.  Uncle Idwal passed it on to me personally after riffling on its manic-brilliance here.  I’ve drawn a dead end searching for Tony Moto who handed this disc to Idwal while holidaying in Greece.  I asked my few Mediterranean-based friends about Tony or D. Coelacanth.  But they texted back with nothing but ‘incomprehensible shrug’ emojis.

Maybe this is the only copy?

You want a piece of this nut-scratcher?  Course you do.  I’ll mail it, free of charge, to whoever leaves the first comment below.

Pass it on reader, pass it on…

NWSAS

Chocolate Monk

The House Organ?

-ooOOoo

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